We discussed the Fayette County coal plant, which supplies one-third of Austinâs electricity usage. Run by the LCRA, the Fayette plant has been the center of energy controversy for the âgreenestâ city in Texas and for the landowners and pecan farmers in the area dealing with the detrimental blow to their crop yields from particulate matter.
Our special guests were: Ryan Rittenhouse, a Field Organizer for the Austin Greenpeace office and expert on issues related to coal power plants and energy issues.
Harvey Hayek and Jeff Cook, are landowners and Pecan Growers within several miles of the Fayette County coal plant and leader of the Texas Pecan Alliance. Both of their families have been in the pecan growing business for almost 100 years and have seen pecan yields steadily drop. In the most recent years, over 90% of the family pecan grove as died by emissions from the coal plant. Many other pecan growers in the area have experienced the same outcome, but Hayek and Cook property have been most affected due to its juxtaposition to the coal plant. Are acid rain and other toxins from the coal plant causing the damage?